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Medical Minute: Alcohol consumption health effects

Effects of Alcohol Consumption
Posted at 11:59 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 14:59:28-05

Many enjoy a glass or two of wine after a tough workday yet have you ever considered the health risks of what seems like a harmless indulgence?

Drinking is typically a part of social events and it's perfectly acceptable to pair a glass of wine with dinner or enjoy a beer with friends but most people actually end up drinking more than they realize.

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as 7 servings for women and 14 servings for men a week. That amount may provide some health benefits but eating a healthy diet and being physically active have much greater benefits for your mental and physical health.

Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and obesity. It can even boost your chances of developing some types of cancer. It can also affect mental health by increasing the risk of depression and anxiety.

An interesting challenge for those who enjoy their cocktails but are curious about their consumption try committing to a dry month, completely cutting out alcohol. Encourage friends to join in and track how you feel throughout the month. You may in fact feel better and learn more about your drinking habits.